Once adults reach age 65, they are generally classified as geriatric patients by physicians. Family medicine doctors regularly work with this segment of the population, helping them to achieve and maintain good health throughout their entire lifetime.
Geriatric patients who are new to the practice should bring as much information as possible to their appointment to make the transition to a new care provider as smooth as possible. Patients will need their insurance information, their social security card, and if possible a copy of their advance directive (living will.) It is also especially important that geriatric patients bring all of their medications along. Ideally, this means bringing all drugs along in their original prescription bottles. Patients should also bring non-prescription medications, including supplements and herbal remedies. Any topical ointments, creams, or patches should be seen by the physician as well. Any mobility devices, for example, walkers or canes, should be brought to the appointment. Having all of these things on hand at the initial appointment will help give the family medicine provider the clearest picture of the patient's health, and will help the doctor create a custom care plan that ideally suits the patient's specific needs.
During a geriatric check-up, the doctor and the patient will discuss nearly all aspects of health and wellness. This can include mood, memory, mobility, sexual health, recent falls or accidents, vision, hearing, appetite, sleeping habits, and much more. This appointment is important in establishing a baseline for patient information, and it will help the doctor to monitor changes in the future.
This depends on the patient and their specific needs and heath concerns. Most geriatric patients see the doctor for check-ups at least twice a year, but this recommendation is made on an individual basis.
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